Friday, December 12, 2008

20 and 60 years annivesary

I ´ve been neglecting fustat for way too long. I´m going through a rough period, workwise and have a huge pile of backlog material to read, i´m beginning to catch up, and new postings are due, during the weekend(at least that is my intention). While waiting, i just want to point to two important anniversaries.

This week it´s 20 years since Naguib Mahfouz received the Nobel Prize, and yesterday would have been the authour´s 97th birthday.I remember buying my first Mahfouz novel, adrift on the Nile, just days after it was made public that he won the prize, after that i had a period of two years when i read everything i could get my hands on. It´s been a love affair ever since.The American University will announce this year´s winner of the Naguib Mahfouz award on the 17th.

The other anniversary is of course the 60th anniversary of the U.N Human Rights declaration, in my view , the mother of all declarations. I will not dwell on the matter, not because i don´t have anything to say, but because of lack of time. I will just leave you with three human rights, and Egypt related links, my way of paying tribute to all the people working with human rights in Egypt and the world.

The first is a Amnesty International profile on Ahmed Seif al Islam , the well-known human rights lawyer from the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre(HMLC).

The second is the first annual report on the state of Human Rights in the Arab World by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies(CIHRS), that was released on December 5th to coincede with the anniversary(You can find the entire 300 pages report in a PDF-version, and a 59 pages synopsis in English, the full report in English will appear shortly).

The third is a blog post by the one and only Sarah Carr, where we get to follow her on a day , that begins with her casually going through her ¨fartbook¨account, finding an update on the possible arrest of the (very good) fellow blogger/journalist, Ahmed Abd al Fattah, and her deciding to follow it up by going to the Dokki police station, were Ahmed is supposed to be held. Ahmed was fortunate enough to come out the same day, after also having been interrogated by State Security. The post is a vivid example of how things work.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as fortunate as Ahmed was this time, this post is dedicated to those people, normaly regular people with less connections or networks , and also of course to the bloggers currently in jail or police custody, Kareem and Muhammed Adel, being but two of them.

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